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Archive for October, 2007

Adorable, or sad?

October 31st, 2007 at 09:56 am

GMC just told me:

"we should get a book like that in Spanish, so I could learn Spanish, then I could talk to everyone in America!"

I am not sure if it is adorable, or sad that he feels he has to know Spanish to talk to fellow Americans..(the book BTW was 'my first French)

We must be rich....

October 31st, 2007 at 09:29 am

In making a grocery list for company this weekend I wrote down:

6 cans of veggies, 2 each of three kinds

Now the company will be here for all the 2 days...there is no way they will use all those veggies (we don't eat canned, they prefer em)...I just wanted a variety since I don't know what they will like...but what to do with the leftover cans? This is why we must be rich:

Just donate them.....

A couple years ago the idea of buying food that I KNOW we will not use would be considered 'wasteful' and here I am planning to do it, with no worries on our budget for the month.....Not that I ever had anything against donating, just that well, I now can afford to do so..frivolously.

Mighty nice to notice we are rich.

4 Costumes cost...4$

October 29th, 2007 at 09:18 am

And that 4$ was a splurge we would have avoided if my DD hadn't her own money to buy it with.

GMC: Knight, sword he has had for years, shield he bought himself recently (just cause he wanted it) and cardboard armor.

JC: princess, now here we really are cheating, she has a princess dress gma made for her last year, that still fits (and prolly will next year too!) the 4$ was for accessories...unnecessary ones, but hey, gotta let em spend some money sometimes.

UE: squire, a old shirt of his big bros, a belt, and voila, a squire...

Daddy...a jedi, robe, gma made eons ago, plus one of them toy light sabers...one of many toys that he owns but never really plays with.

Mom: I don't do costumes.

So for what is really nothing we have 4 dressed up kids to take 'trunk or treating'.

For treats we did spend a bit on play dough and on spider rings...and we will be taking some pumpkin muffins (the sweet kind) to share.

Rain rain, stay awhile....

October 26th, 2007 at 08:44 am

It has been raining at varying intensity's for three days now...On the one hand I am getting a bit claustrophobic, but on the other hand..since we are in a drought we need it....

So instead of asking it to go, I would like it to stay, just go before next Saturday! (my SIL is coming to visit and we will go to the Ren Fest)

On another note I discovered that one of the trees in the backyard is prolly a tulip poplar..we learned about them on a nature walk at reedy creek, and I think that is the same kind of leaf on this tree.

We didn't plant it, it planed itself last spring. The only thing we did was not mow it Smile something we actually tried for about 5 trees last year, two of them have survived...the poplar, and possible a short needle pine..or some other scruffy pine.

This whole 'leave it alone' might not go over well with the home owners association, but it is incredibly low cost landscaping Smile.

Need a good deed

October 25th, 2007 at 09:59 am

Officially Cub scout packs are supposed to do a good deed together each month...

Unofficially I have enough trouble convincing them to plan a pack meeting, without adding on another item.

So unofficially the Tigers (which my Husband is in charge of) are trying to do one each month if possible, with no pressure..except that felt by me.

So far this month my two ideas are a litter patrol, or a leaf raking...I know the boys would like to rake, but I don't know where it might need done...I also know they could easily pick up trash, but I don't know where...

hmm the church is having a Trunk or treat...I bet that leaves extra trash around after, maybe the boys could spend a few minutes of the next meeting taking care of it.....

You know this cub scout stuff is harder than it looks!

I don't even like popcorn....

October 24th, 2007 at 08:59 am

That isn't entirely true, I love fresh air popped popcorn with salted butter on top. I just rarely ever like pre-made packaged popcorn(I have a weakness for cheese popcorn on occasion though), and I have not been able to stomach microwave popcorn since I read a story on how the chemicals put in the bags gave the workers cancer (apparently one bag does not have enough to cause it, but a whole bunch in the air as you fill them does)

So why am I selling it?

It is the boyscout way...Girl scouts sell cookies (which in spite of the high sugar content, I love thin mints and the coconut ones). Boy scouts (and cubs) sell popcorn....

So now I have to wonder around thinking up folk who do not already have boys in the scouts to find at least some orders so I seem like I am participating....

Actually they have a popcorn for troops option where the company will pool the money (25dollars each) and send popcorn over to the troops...Since most folk don't mind high fructose corn syrup, I figure that is the way we will go with our obligatory purchase. And I know my mother likes the microwave stuff. But I really do not want anyone to feel obligated to buy it, so I wont be even telling the Uncle (then he might expect me to buy his kids school fund raisers again!)

Now out of that 25$ the pack gets 40%...lesse if my brain can handle the math yet...10$..I have to pay 25$ to get my kids pack $10??????? I think I would rather hand over 15 cash and call it a day!

Actually I wish I could come up with something the Tigers could do to earn money so that GMC could get some experience with work for cash, and I wouldn't have to buy popcorn...I am just drawing a blank.

He already does chores around the house, and extra chores are done when needed free of charge, part of being in this family....so I am drawing a blank.

They grew!

October 23rd, 2007 at 07:58 am

For cub scouts my husband and son planted some seeds in a plastic ziplock bag..with dirt of course, ad a bit of water.

At first we thought it was hopeless, especially since my 2 year old shook up one of the bags, but as of now we have 2 inch shoots coming up. Skinny little shoots, but alive none the less.

The only question I have is...what do we do with them?

There is something odd about that...

October 22nd, 2007 at 02:14 pm

While our Sunday school 'class' is discussing Luther's reformation, the church is starting to sell books...

Is it me or is there something odd about a Lutheran church ... making money off of peoples desire to grow their families and personal faith?

Now I get that a church is a great place to find resources on faith. What better than to read a book your pastor has recommended (assuming you see eye to eye with him). I personally bought a terrific book on communion for kids because my pastor had it, he showed it to me, I read it, and I liked it. The church buys extras of this particular book so that parents can do that.

The difference is in the advertising, word of mouth sold me the first book. A magazine full of 100 books that I don't know anyone who read, will not.

Not to mention I doubt the pastor made a cent off the first book, everything about a book stand smacks of fund raiser.....

Even if it was free, I wouldn't waste it!

October 21st, 2007 at 08:54 am

I had the opportunity to visit a family that has utilities included in their rent. When we first walked in (no one was home previously, it was an empty house) every light except the bathroom was on....every single one in the middle of a VERY sunny day! (not to mention hot)

The front door was left open after our arrival, and many other times during the visit. While the air conditioning was on low enough to make me cold (though admittedly I chill easily).

I cannot understand why anyone would leave fans, lights on, doors open....aside from the loss of air, there is the flys that come in! And while I am NOT a tree hugger, I do think needless waste is wrong, a little forethought will tell you financially the rent cannot afford to stay the same if you continue to waste electricity at such a rate, the rent will have to go up to cover it!

Not to mention the long term thought of children raised with no restrictions on electricity who may one day move out and buy a house, only to find electric bills are through the roof!

And besides, there is the environment to think about....

UE is two....

October 20th, 2007 at 05:25 pm

Well he will be tomorrow when he wakes up. To commemorate his almost two-ness, he skipped nap today...and reminded me how desperately he needs a nap!

We actually just bought his present today..wooden food for him to cook. Breakfast supplies, something we didn't have yet. He is a major chef, at the church nursery he is always cooking. At home he is always cooking. He even feels it is his job to help me cook every night (and lunch, and any other time he can squeeze his way in!)

Which is why the theme for his half of the birthday party is cooking.

Speaking of which I went with two sided invitations, actually a regular 8*11 sheet folded in half. The one side has picture of a couple cooking, the other upside down is a princess. When you open it it either says 'UE is cooking up a party' or on the facing side (upside down, but right side up if you opened it from the princess side) 'Princes JC is having a birthday ball'.

Across the bottom is all the important info, dates times and such. I thought it was kind of cute Smile

All printed on my computer for...very little. Only thing I don't like is the lack of envelopes. I didn't come up with any. Though honestly since we will be hand delivering all the invites, I am not sure why an envelope is needed...it just seems improper to not have one.

Buying for company....

October 19th, 2007 at 09:51 am

Now in general I always thought of buying 'the good stuff' for company...but here I have a couple house guests coming for a weekend, and I have a list including things like canned vegetables! Canned, the cheap stuff we suffer thru when money is low (OK fine, money has never been that low here...) is what I am buying my guests!

Not because I am mean, but because thats what they like....so we buy for them, and learn a lesson in "one mans poison..."

Planning a birthday party

October 17th, 2007 at 09:57 am

cooking at princess...how do you mix those? expecially since the princess is turning 4 and the cook is turning 2...

Well basically you just do it Smile

Two homemade cakes, one for each, and some fruit (berries, only wash to prep) some cheese, crackers....

Oh and burgers dogs and all the trimmings for that...you know the biggest problem is not the theme, it is space for the food!

I see all these elaborate centerpieces and I wonder how on earth anyone has room enough to put a centerpiece on a table with all the food! Or maybe they put a small amount out and constantly refill..unless the food will go bad, I pass on refilling!

My mother has offered to take care of crafts for the kids to do, something I rarely ever do since I have my hands full of cooking the food, no time to help kids with messy crafts. I think the kids will really enjoy the aprons and crowns though.

The only thing I have left to do is invitations and decorations....I wonder how a double fronted invitation would look...one side princess-y and one side cooking.....

There is something wrong with your house!

October 15th, 2007 at 05:33 am

I woke up yesterday morning about 4 am and shut the one window in the kitchen, it was a chilly 66ish. Then at a more normal hour of 7am while getting ready for church I was cold but it was already 69.

My friend mentioned to me how cold her house was that morning and I agreed, but said we only turn the heat on when the house is less than 63...hers was 54.

How on earth is my house 66 with a window open and hers 54? No mountains, similar area, suburbs. She does have a bigger house. But I didn't think it would make that much difference.

Do insulating curtains really make that much of a difference? I have a blanket in my living room since we haven't wanted to spend money till we picked a color. (finally decided on brown).

I also had my mother make me lined insulated curtains for our bedroom (black) and we have a simple cheap one in each of the kids rooms (ok find it is s sheet in the boys room Smile.)

I wonder how well insulated our house will be when we get the kids curtains lined? (coming Christmas for JC, made again by my mother) Maybe I could skip heating the house in the winter, just bake a batch of muffins once every couple days!

Patched jeans for my daughter

October 13th, 2007 at 08:55 am

It was a bit harder, but more fun..she got a flower...with a button right in the middle just for fun Smile

I cut out denim to be the inside of the jeans and then felt to go on top, cause the denim would prolly fray, and the felt wouldn't....but after I was a third of the way through it occurred to me that felt is not very strong, and is likely to rip under normal small child wear and tear....

Oh well. It was a first and a test, looks cute right now anyway.

Shopping cart effect

October 12th, 2007 at 09:51 am

We went to the grocery store last night.
First the cute part, my almost 2 year old wanted to eat the broccoli...out of the bag,It was frozen! He was adorable insistent that he get broccoli....when Daddy told him mommy had to cook it first he decided he wanted broccoli for snack! Of course you know if it was cookies he wanted I would be embarrassed not indulgent....(we had apricots for snack anyway)

Now the shopping cart effect...I think shopping carts are driving up the prices of food.

Consider that I have never been to a store in recent years (since having kids) and needed a cart and NOT seen at least one out of place..in the middle of the parking lot, or just up on a curb...not once..in 5 years.

Yesterday I counted as we put 10 shopping carts away (in corrals or in the store). 10! at least 10 people were so inconsiderate as to leave their carts less than 10 yards from the corrals or store entrance....

Now I will admit my kids thought it was great fun to round them all up (we were cart wranglers) but I found it very irritating as a fellow working for the store was on the other end of the parking lot getting paid to move his 10 carts back to the store...(plus the 50 or so actually neatly in the corrals)

The store has to spend more money on the workers time to fetch and carry carts....This has to drive up the price of the food in the store. Why on earth anyone would willingly make food cost more for themselves and everyone else is beyond me.

My husband went to the store (different store) the day before and while putting a cart he found beside his car back offered to help a lady who took the last item out (by all appearances physically fit lady) and just picked two wheels up and left it on the curb...then as he is coming back from that he witnesses another lady doing it as well.....why a simple trip to the store to buy yogurt has to take 15 minutes longer due to the rudeness of other people I just don't get it.

Do people not think about others anymore? Maybe it is the video game mentality..you walk out of a room and the 'stuff' 're-pop's and the mess is cleaned up...walk back in and find a fresh new no work needed place.....real life isn't like that, you make a mess someone else has to deal with that...

I suppose someone is going to tell me it is a safety issue..if you do not feel safe walking from your car to a store, stay home or hire a body guard. If you must go out then call 911 or your mom while you put your cart away....but please don't stoop to the level of not caring about your surroundings.

The best gifts are free...

October 11th, 2007 at 08:57 am

Well mostly free, take advantage of what you are already spending on..

I just got a wonderful love poem in my email from my wonderful husband.

Didn't cost a cent, and yet it plastered a goofy love sick smile on my face...one that might even last past the kid troubles till he gets home.

you know people pay for this sort of thing?

October 10th, 2007 at 10:56 am

I am sitting here at naptime, my time to be alone and have peace, and in the background I hear birds, some bugs, but lots of birds...a bit of wind rustling by and the occasional 'white noise.

It isn't a nice new recording, no electricity needed, it is actual birds from the actual weeds/err woods we have out back.

The white noise was an airplane Smile

Anyway I was thinking of the nature sounds CDs I used to like when I was a city kid....

I might not like everything about living here, but I love getting the country sounds and still being close enough to civilization to order in..if I could ever force myself to spend that much money that is!

It is called a hangover

October 9th, 2007 at 11:00 am

And I have a big bad yucky one.

No not from drink, I have only been hung over from drinking twice...and the last was over 6 years ago.

Nope it is from reading, oh laugh all you want, but a huge migraine, light sensitivity, not to mention nausea, all add up to one whopper of a hangover.

All addicts get them once in a while, but some of us feel a bit sillier about it. Who ever heard of a teacher swearing off reading!

Ah well..next time I will pace myself better...isn't that the promise of all hung over addicts? That if you can't avoid a next time you will at least aim for moderation?

I told my supplier only to leave me with one book, but no he had to drop off three! There aught to be a law Smile.

Now I am off to read the third book, once the house is rid of the drug in it's fresh never read form I can stop thinking about it..and I will know how the dama and her cats made out.........

Powers that be

Muffin recipies, by request.

October 8th, 2007 at 10:10 am

The short version..take the tightwad gazette recipe, mostly double, adjust for health, and flavor as desired...

To be more precise.....err well bear with me, I am not a precise baker...though one thing I have learned, measure baking powder right (level off and all)

All muffins are done when a finger pressed lightly in them bounces back quickly.

Cakes require a dry toothpick..they never bounce well, to moist.

---------------------------
The muffin recipe was designed using the molasses cookie one roughly tripled in flavor (since the muffins have around triple the flour) the cookie recipe I will have to work on for you.

Molasses Muffins:

Pre-heat oven to 425
In a large bowl combine:

2 cups white flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
3/4-1 cup brown sugar
couple pinches of salt
5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a large measuring cup mix:

2 cups of milk
1/2 cup oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup molasses
2 or 3 eggs

Place liners or grease pans....check if oven is hot (mine has a light)

Pour wet into dry, stir lightly

spoon into muffin cups (I use a small scoop for the mini muffins and one large scoop for big muffins.

bake 15 minutes..give or take (take em out right after you notice how wonderful the house smells!

Makes about 3dz mini and 1 1/2 dz large (that happens to be about how many I own...)

----------------------
I have two recipes for pumpkin, one is sweet and 'the good kind' the other is healthy...The sweet kind is mostly out of the joy of cooking, but kinda doubled.

The Good Pumpkin Bread

Preheat oven to 350

Cream:

2 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup soft butter
2 eggs

Mix in: 1 can pumpkin (15oz)

add in:
2 cups white flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon

Add in:
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Bake in 3 mini loaf pans and one regular (20 min mini, 60 min regular) or for muffins around 15 minutes

--------------------------------

This comes from the back of a Hershey's cocoa box..with a few health changes.

Chocolate muffins

Preheat oven to 350 (empty as needed!)

In a large bowl combine:

1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup hersheys cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
salt

Put the kettle on

In a large liquid measuring cup mix:

1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Prepare muffin cups

combine wet and dry ingredients

Add one cup boiling water (it will be very thin!)

Pour into muffin cups bake around 15 minutes.
-------------------------------

Hope you like em.

cupcakes and muffins...

October 6th, 2007 at 06:38 pm

The season of endless baking is upon us...

Today was (well is, still in the oven) molasses muffins and cupcakes (nieces birthday..late)

And I need to make more for Tuesday (cubscouts..so far offers of snack help have been just that..offers.)

For Wednesday..Music class..I seem to be the only one with a family that cannot make 2 hours without food...

Then I get to make more for Friday ....camping trip, I want to pack some snacks I know the kid and husband will eat, plus some to share.

Then again for next Sunday (can't make it thru church and Sunday school without eating.)

But I like baking...I am tired, and sometimes have trouble, not every muffin I make tastes good, thoush some are great. I am looking forward to pumpkin muffins, and fudge (gifts) and mollasses cookies (mmm the house smells good right now!)

K gotta take em out.

Patched a pair of pants...

October 5th, 2007 at 09:44 am

I noticed it is actually getting colder, like we only have half the windows open instead of all of them..

The real issue is going to PA where it really was chilly one day and worrying that my son might be cold due to holes in his knees..something enviable in hot weather, but not so much in cold.

So I grabbed a pair of my hopelessly un-patch-able jeans cut out a portion and sewed it onto my sons...didn't take long. I started and finished it while the kids were doing school work this morning..but..the end result is he has a oval patch..you can clearly see the stitching (I didn't have the right color, and I have WAY to much thread to be buying any.)

I am not sure he cares..but I do. If he was my daughter a pretty pink thread and a butterfly or flower shape would make her happy..but he is too old for trucks on his pants..not sure if there is a solution.

No I do not want to pay you to go buy it.

October 3rd, 2007 at 10:07 am

The registration for the cub scouts is supposed to be one price to cover registration t-shirts, books and patches.

But I already have a book and I don't want to buy a shirt (ebay!) and I don't need a new patch, I am perfectly happy with a used one...in fact it will be saved for my younger son to use on his shirt when I definitely will not want to pay one inclusive price!

I can't be the only one can I?

And you buy it?

October 2nd, 2007 at 05:40 pm

This was the shocked question when my husband explained how we use 'real' maple syrup, not flavored corn syrup. Of course he mentioned the price (being the math memory of the family he knows, I don't)

A family member was amazed, It was difficult for them to grasp why 'us po folk' would buy expensive syrup. The truth is we buy lots of expensive items...fruit and veggies are often more expensive than many kinds of junk food. Pop is cheaper than juice (and lets not get into 100% juice vs fruit punch) But it isn't about the dollar, it is about the value. We feel 'real' syrup is worth more than flavored sugar. This may be a debatable issue, science is not 100% on our side, but it is enough for us to do it.

Don't get me wrong we don't always think price equals quality, I have found great cheap clothes and lousy expensive ones. I have read the ingredients on an expensive food and preferred the cheap one. It is again about the value...we want to get the most value for our money when we choose to spend it.

update: I got an article in the email today regarding HighFructose Corn syrup..spark peaople

Thought it was worth sharing

I am not every one else....

October 1st, 2007 at 07:54 am

I just got back from a visit with the relatives, many of whom follow the 'everyone else is doing it' theory. So I felt the need to rant.

Don't get me wrong if I see someone doing something good I might borrow it. I am after all on here to find new ways save from 'anyone else'. And I do the same with parenting issues, I watch and learn or ask and learn.

BUT

I do not do ANYTHING just because everyone else does. I do not take any and all government money, I do not let my kids drink pop any old time (very rarely yes, daily, weekly, no) I also do not let them eat hot dogs any time they want or watch TV nonstop...I don't care if 'EVERYONE' else does it. We care what We feel, and research often backs, as best for our kids.

What kind of example would I be setting for my kids if I caved to adult peer pressure? How could I punish them for doing 'what everyone else is' if I myself do 'what all the other people do'...this doesn't mean I have to go out of my way to be different. It just means that with money, health, education, and discipline we follow the best method we can. If the rest of the world wants to live beneath their means, switch to whole wheat, avoid high fructose corn syrup, home school, de-clutter, etc. we still would as well.